Hurlock VFD acquires custom-built ladder truck
HURLOCK — A gleaming, brand-new, custom-built $1 million ladder truck is the impressive new addition to Hurlock Volunteer Fire Company’s fleet of firetrucks.
The company’s Tower 6 ladder truck was dedicated on Oct. 1 to Charles “PopPop” Coulbourne for his 65 years of still-active ser vice with the fire company.
Although the company has owned two secondhand “towers” in the past, this is the company’s first new ladder truck. Firefighters began planning the truck purchase three or four years ago, according to 1st Asst. Chief Marlon Parker.
“From the day we signed the papers,” Parker said, “it took about 16 months to build it from the frame up.”
The illuminated 102-foot ladder has self-contained breathing apparatus, water delivery system and digital controls in the basket and on the truck.
The handles are all backlit, and the roll-up side windows are specifically designed so that they won’t swing out and impede the movement of firefighters. The water tank holds 500 gallons. Bright LED lights illuminate the entire truck, including the backlit shield panel.
“Everyone is really impressed with it,” 3rd Asst. Chief Billy Coulbourne said. During the 124th Maryland State Firemen’s Association Convention in Ocean City last summer, “everyone complimented us on how we outfitted it.”
The truck’s state-of-the-art features are not just “bells and whistles.” “This truck lowers the IOS (insurance risk) rating for businesses” in the community, Parker said.
Chief Jason Trego officially put the tower into commission on Oct. 10.
The fire company obtained “two real low interest loans for 20 and 25 years,” Parker said. One was a “military loan” and the other was from the USDA.
Local businesses like Amick Farms, Win Transport and Koski Trucking also helped support the purchase of the tower.
“We couldn’t do this without town support and local businesses,” said Coulbourne, a member of the company for 25 years.
The ladder truck was manufactured by Rosenbauer in Lyons, South Dakota. The company also provided a three-day training session to six Hurlock firefighters.
The rig’s hydraulic ladder and ground ladders undergo annual MDOT inspections that run between $1,500 to $3,000. The county helps with these expenses.
Parker, who joined the company almost 25 years ago said, “I just want to help people” and try to prevent the tragedy his family experienced in 1998. Parker’s eight-year-old twin cousins, Eric and Erica Austin, were killed in a Hurlock house fire.
“We clean, and congregate and have a good time (at the firehouse),” Parker said. “But when the alarm comes in, that’s when you go to work.”
Hurlock VFC’s Tower 6 ladder truck was dedicated on Oct. 1 to active member Charles “PopPop” Coulbourne for his 65 years of service with the fire company. Pictured, from left, are 2nd Asst. Chief R.J. Helmer, Fire Chief Jason Trego, Charles Coulbourne, 1st Asst. Chief Marlon Parker and 3rd Asst. Chief Billy Coulbourne.
Hurlock VFC’s 3rd Asst. Chief Billy Coulbourne and 1st Asst. Chief Marlon Parker proudly display the company’s $1 million, custom-built Rosenbauer ladder truck.